News Briefs

  • 10/30/2023

    Mews Adds Expedia Group to Its Collection of Direct OTA Integrations

    MEWS Expedia logos

    Mews has released a bespoke integration to Expedia Group that allows properties to connect the Online Travel Agency (OTA) directly to Mews PMS.

    The direct connection automatically updates prices, restrictions and availability in Expedia Group whenever changes are made in Mews Operations. This real-time link reduces the risk of overbookings, decreases sales discrepancies and can reduce the cost of ownership of a hotel’s tech stack.

    This follows other direct OTA connections to Mews, including booking.com – which recently recognized Mews as a Premier Connectivity Partner – and dayuse.com, where hotels can increase their revenue by offering daytime reservations.

    Mews also offers a direct connection to Google Hotel Search, which allows hotels to display their live rates via Google, encouraging more direct bookings. Learn more about the Google Hotel Search connection in this webinar.

    “OTAs like Expedia Group are important distribution tools for hoteliers, and the Mews team has worked hard to build this direct connection,” said Matt Welle, Mews CEO. “Expedia Group is one of the two biggest reservation sources for Mews customers, and this integration will empower properties to better manage their inventory, consolidate tech stacks, and boost profit margins."

    Although the latest integration will help hoteliers across the world, it is of particular importance in the United States, where Expedia Group is a heavily favored booking channel.

  • 10/30/2023

    Lightspeed Announces New Product Features

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    Lightspeed Commerce Inc.  is announcing a roster of new product features recently released to merchants.  

    From AI-powered menu creation to self-serve assortment planning and continued expansion of Lightspeed Payments, each new feature has been custom-built with one goal in mind: eliminate mundane tasks that bog down retailers and restaurateurs, making it easier and more efficient to run their businesses. 

    “Merchants start businesses out of passion, not because they love spending hours on inventory, reconciliation, or schedules,” said Ryan Tabone, Chief Product and Technology Officer of Lightspeed. “Our job as their technology partner is to empower them with the tools that simplify how they operate, so they can focus on their customers and scale their business. This latest round of new product features is the start of a string of functionality that gives them that ability, as well as an edge in their respective markets.”

    Lightspeed Restaurant leverages AI, data and insights to help restaurateurs make smarter decisions, faster:

    Smart Items: the AI secret ingredient to building a chef's-kiss menu in seconds

    New seasons means time for new menus. But what used to take hours of inputting and updating the POS now takes seconds with Lightspeed Restaurant’s newest launch: Smart Items. This transformative solution:

    • Generates compelling product information
    • Creates captivating images to match
    • Auto translates the menu into multiple languages to service the languages you operate in

    Whether restaurateurs are managing an extensive 100-item menu or starting from scratch, Smart Items can save them valuable time: up to 30 minutes per 100-item menu, or even hours and days for those building content from the ground up.

    Advanced Insights levels up with Magic Menu Quadrant and Staff Performance Tools

    Lightspeed Restaurant’s proprietary Advanced Insights tool just got a powerful boost with two features, now available on our flagship product globally: 

    • Magic Menu Quadrant, offering merchants insights into popular items and those that encourage repeat dining.
    • Staff Performance tools help managers optimize their front-of-house team's performance, from increasing order sizes to cross-training.

    When it comes to seeing these features brought to life, Jarred Drown, Owner of Terrace Bay Hotel and Freshwater Tavern in Gladstone, Michigan shared that "Lightspeed’s Magic Menu Quadrant helps us expand while turning a profit on every order." What’s more, Francine Joseph, Business Manager from Boukan in Toronto, Canada said that “One of the greatest features we have now that we didn’t have before is capturing customer data. We always encourage our staff to capture, especially our loyal customers, repeat customers, because they’re spending money here and what we want to be able to do is reward that."

    Lightspeed Retail simplifies purchasing and planning for sophisticated retailers and brands: Speed up vertical and target assortment planning 

    Brands that operate their own retail stores can reduce manual work (and the frequency of data-entry errors) by using NuORDER Assortments to optimize inventory allocation, identify merchandising gaps, and make more informed range planning decisions. 

    “Implementing NuORDER Assortments meant more accurate roll ups and a clear process to write smarter buys,” said Stephanie Gin, Director of Buying, Brunello Cucinelli. “We now get an immediate visual of the assortment thus making it much easier to analyze and review. The tool has replaced all manual processes and has become essential to our buying process.”

    For multi-brand retailers, NuORDER Assortments now allows both merchants and brands to efficiently load and manage financial or allocation targets, which enables them to compare their assortment against planned spend and making it easier to see where they are over and under invested. As they write their units, buyers can review how their totals measure against their targets for different departments, categories or other product groupings.

    Additionally, onboarding new brands to NuORDER Assortments is completely self-service, allowing for automated mapping of their product schema into an assortment schema and enabling the brand to configure their setup.

    Millions of products, thousands of brands, now available across all major Lightspeed Retail verticals

    With Lightspeed Retail's B2B Catalog expanding across all major verticals such as Fashion & Apparel, Sporting & Outdoor goods, Bikes, Toys & Crafts, Home & Lifestyle, retailers can now add product info from millions of products from thousands of popular brands straight to their product catalog. This is significantly quicker than adding products manually, and merchants can ensure that all product info, images, descriptions, UPC and more are correct and verified from the supplier, making it quicker than ever to start selling new products.

    Create, schedule, track, and sell service offerings directly inside Lightspeed Retail 

    After a successful beta launch, our Services Module is now available on Lightspeed Retail everywhere. Better yet, it now lets merchants include backordered items. This module is best served by retailers with service components like bikes, sporting goods, jewelry.  

    Lightspeed Payments continues to expand availability globally

    Lightspeed remains dedicated to simplifying complex processes for their merchants on all fronts, including Lightspeed Payments. Unified into both flagship products—Lightspeed Retail and Restaurant—Lightspeed Payments continues its global expansion:

    • Lightspeed Payments is now available for eligible merchants via Lightspeed eCom in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Belgium.
    • Lightspeed Payments is now available on Lightspeed Restaurant in Belgium and the Netherlands.

    With these launches, Lightspeed Payments is now available in Australia, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, France, Netherlands, United States and United Kingdom, making international transactions more accessible and convenient for businesses of all sizes. Learn more about Lightspeed Payments on the Company’s Lightspeed Retail or Lightspeed Restaurant websites. 

  • 10/30/2023

    Shift4 Completes Acquisition of eCommerce Payments Provider

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    Shift4, a provider of integrated payments and commerce technology, has completed its previously announced acquisition of Finaro, a cross-border ecommerce payments provider and fully licensed bank with a large European presence. The completion of this acquisition significantly expands Shift4’s total addressable market both in terms of geographic coverage and industry verticals.

    Finaro will provide the global infrastructure and cutting-edge technology needed to drive Shift4’s international expansion into Europe and beyond. In addition to expanding Shift4’s geographic footprint, the acquisition will enhance the company’s cross-border ecommerce capabilities to deliver a unified global payments platform for merchants and partners around the world.

    “Finaro is highly complementary to Shift4 in terms of geographic coverage, capabilities, and addressable markets. It also empowers us to follow our existing strategic customers into new markets which represents a significant opportunity,” stated Shift4 CEO Jared Isaacman. “By coupling Shift4’s card-present solutions with Finaro’s strengths in cross-border ecommerce, the combined organization offers a truly unified commerce experience that can compete with the biggest payments companies in the world.”

    Isaacman added, “With Finaro’s tech center based in Israel, we realize that this comes during an extremely difficult time for those employees and their loved ones. The ability to work together during these trying times is a testament to the talent and character of everyone on the Finaro team. We are proud to welcome them into our Shift4 family.”

    This acquisition not only augments Shift4’s ecommerce offering, but will also enable Shift4 to soon offer its card-present technology across Europe – including the company’s SkyTab restaurant point-of-sale system and VenueNext stadium solution. Additionally, Shift4 has more than 500 software integrations and over 200,000 merchant customers, many of which have a multinational presence and provide immediate international opportunities that can now be unlocked as a result of this acquisition.

    Finaro will soon rebrand as Shift4 to operate under a single brand reflecting the company’s unified global payments platform. To learn more about Shift4, visit www.shift4.com.

  • 10/30/2023

    Holiday Travel Trends Report from iSeatz Reveals Disconnect Between Travelers and Loyalty Programs

    iseatz

    iSeatz, a leading provider of travel loyalty technology solutions, has released its latest survey report that examines American consumers' priorities for holiday travel in 2023 and how loyalty programs can leverage opportunities to engage travelers during the upcoming season.

    The report, The Tipping Point for Travel Loyalty: 2023 Holiday Travel Trends,  is based on a survey conducted by iSeatz in August 2023, which polled over 2,000 consumers in the United States belonging to a loyalty program that incorporates travel-related rewards and 151 loyalty program professionals across industries.

    Among the report's key findings is the fact that travel loyalty programs are well-positioned to provide the reward and redemption options that make holiday travel more attainable for members while capitalizing on the heightened interest in travel that the season usually brings, but many don't consistently deliver the value they promise.

    2023 Consumer Insights: Unpacking Holiday Travel Trends

    The survey uncovers a US traveler demographic keen to journey but still way of high prices. It also reveals their appetite for more deals and value. Key insights from the report include:

    • Consumers plan to travel more this holiday season than in 2022: While just 40% of U.S. adults surveyed traveled last holiday season, a notable 54% are gearing up for holiday trips this year.
       
    • Price was a driving factor last year and maybe this year, too: 45% of the 60% of the consumers who didn't travel in the previous holiday season attributed their decision to affordability concerns, either due to steep prices or insufficient travel rewards. This year, value remains at the forefront of travelers' considerations.
       
    • Loyalty programs can help consumers offset travel costs: 42% of consumers would travel more during the holidays if they got more discounts through their loyalty program, and 32% would if they had more points available to help offset the cost of the trip.
       
    • Loyalty programs could be offering members more: Surveyed consumers said they would welcome their loyalty programs' help with holiday travel costs, but 45% reported that their loyalty programs aren't doing anything at all to offer benefits for the holiday period.

     

  • 10/30/2023

    Alice by Actabl Now Available on Oracle Cloud Marketplace

    oracle and alice by actabl logos

    Actabl, a provider of hospitality software that empowers hotels with actionable insights and a member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), announced Alice by Actabl is available on Oracle Cloud Marketplace and can be integrated with Oracle Hospitality Integration Platform (OHIP). Oracle Cloud Marketplace is a centralized repository of enterprise applications offered by Oracle and Oracle partners.

    Alice by Actabl enables high level business benefits. This integration between Alice and OHIP allows staff and management to improve the accuracy of guest information and increase efficiency through the delivery of:

    ●       Booking information whenever reservations are created or modified,

    ●       Guest arrival statuses such as check-in, check-out, and special requests,

    ●       Room and housekeeping status.

    Oracle Cloud Marketplace is a one-stop shop for Oracle customers seeking trusted business applications offering unique business solutions, including ones that extend Oracle Cloud Applications. Oracle Cloud is an enterprise cloud that delivers massive, non-variable performance and next generation security across a comprehensive portfolio of services including SaaS, application development, application hosting, and business analytics. Customers get access to leading computing, storage, data management, security, integration, HPC, artificial intelligence (AI), and Blockchain services to augment and modernize their critical workloads. Oracle Cloud runs Oracle Autonomous Database, the industry's first and only self-driving database.

    “Working on this with the team at Oracle has been great and we appreciate having a partner who shares our mission to make innovative, state-of-the-art technology accessible to hoteliers. Actabl’s integration with OHIP further extends our commitment to the Oracle community and enables customers to easily reap the benefits of Alice by Actabl” said Pritesh Patel, director of product integrations, Actabl. “We look forward to leveraging the power of the Oracle Cloud to support our customers’ day-to-day operations, growth, and ongoing success.”

    Actabl is actively building a comprehensive platform for hotel intelligence and operations management technology demonstrating its dedication to delivering exceptional customer experiences and continuous product improvements. With a strong focus on customer engagement and learning, Actabl has attended over 60 conferences in 2023, providing individualized training to enhance customer knowledge and maximize software utilization. Additionally, the company has increased team capacity and introduced new measurement tools to expedite implementation timelines.

    "Actabl's integration with OHIP has given us a significantly more stable and reliable PMS integration, resulting in smoother operations, increased associate confidence, and reduced support needs,” said Jeremy Campbell, senior corporate manager of property systems, Montage International. “We are fortunate to have such an incredible partnership with Alice by Actabl and their amazing team.”

  • 10/30/2023

    TrustYou Revolutionizes Guest Engagement by Removing Limits to its responseAI Solution

    laptop displaying TrustYou responseAI program

    TrustYou, a provider of guest feedback and reputation management solutions for the hospitality industry, announced the introduction of unlimited responseAI credits for its current and new users. This breakthrough offering empowers hoteliers unparalleled flexibility and scalability, enhancing their ability to drive guest satisfaction and revenue growth.

    “We are proud being among the first companies offering AI functionality in our product. However, our customers' businesses need more flexibility and simplicity. Unlimited responseAI credits provides them a technology bundle, that helps make guests happy by facilitating the feedback dialogue between travelers and their hotel or destination.” said Benjamin Jost, CEO and co-founder of TrustYou.  

    The responseAI product is an exceptional tool that offers significant process and efficiency improvement for hoteliers. It generates AI responses to all text reviews, improving the interactions between hotels and their customers.

    With the introduction of unlimited responseAI credits, hoteliers that subscribe to the product will no longer be restricted by a quantity of responses that is too low to meet their needs. They will have the freedom to engage with guests on a larger scale, providing a more comprehensive and personalized experience. This flexibility and scalability will enhance overall guest satisfaction while driving revenue growth for hoteliers.

    "We are thrilled to offer unlimited responseAI credits to our customers," said Jon Eichelberger, TrustYou's CMO. "This transformative approach will empower hoteliers to take their guest feedback management to new heights and establish stronger, long-term relationships with their guests. We believe this offering will have a profound impact on the hospitality industry."

    TrustYou's unlimited responseAI credits provide a range of benefits to its customers, including the ability to scale their response generation efforts, cater to diverse needs, and excel in a customer-centric approach. Additional information about unlimited responseAI and certain limits that apply is available from the company.

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